Grand jury Indict Georgia Deputies with the Murder of A Black Man who Died in Custody Three Years Ago

·3 min read
Six Georgia deputies indicted on felony murder after Antonio May died in their custody three years ago.
Six Georgia deputies indicted on felony murder after Antonio May died in their custody three years ago.

In another episode of cops killing Black people, a grand jury indicted six deputies in Fulton County with felony murder for the 2018 death of Antonio May, who was an inmate at Fulton County Jail at the time of his death. According to the court document, he was repeatedly beaten and shocked with a taser.

Per the report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the six deputies are facing other charges which include aggravated assault, battery and violation of oath of office after the end of a probe that lasted three years.

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From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“It is now the duty of my office to prove these charges beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury at trial. My staff and I will continue to work to ensure that justice is done in this case,” DA Fani Willis said in a statement.

May, a 32-year-old father of three from Macon, had been arrested and taken to the Fulton County jail after he was accused of throwing rocks at the windows of the American Cancer Society building downtown. His lawyer, Michael Harper, said May died of cardiovascular collapse due to physical restraints.

Black people are so frustrated and angry with the criminal justice system because of cases like this one. All we want is basic accountability on the police that are supposed to be “protecting us.”

You break the rules or do something wrong, you face the consequences and in too many cases police officers have not.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The deputies were identified in the indictment as Arron Cook, Guito Dela Cruz, Omar Jackson, Jason Roache, Kenesia Strowder and William Whitaker.

In the wrongful death complaint Harper filed in 2019, May’s family alleged that he had been taken to the jail after Grady Memorial Hospital physicians diagnosed him with Substance Abuse Psychotic Disorder. Upon his arrival, May told a medical technician with NaphCare, Inc., the jail’s medical provider, that he was suicidal, the suit alleged.

“As opposed to putting Mr. May in the Special Medical Observation Unit at the Fulton County Jail and giving him detoxifying chemical sedation, due to his mental health issues and due to him testing positive for amphetamines, the medical professionals at NaphCare, Inc. released Mr. May to the jail deputies to place Mr. May in a general holding cell,” the complaint stated.

The suit goes on to say that after May allegedly exposed himself while in the holding cell, six deputies from the jail’s Direct Action Response Team unit tased, beat and pepper-sprayed him repeatedly. May was then placed in a restraining chair, a spit mask on his face, and taken to shower for decontamination. After that, the deputies put a hose to May’s face to flush the remaining pepper spray, according to the complaint. May was pronounced dead minutes later.

I can already hear the comments coming. “He was a criminal” and “ he shouldn’t have done those things to the officers.” So that means he should’ve died? In the report by the AJC, May was diagnosed with a mental illness and he told authorities he was “suicidal.”

Shouldn’t he had been treated as such?

Instead, he was put back into the hands of deputies who did not care enough about his life to keep him safe.

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